Featured Tutor: Pat Garvey

27 May, 2016

Here at BIMM, we always like to shout about the amazing achievements of our highly talented lecturers, and this time it’s the turn of our BIMM Brighton Head of Drums – Pat Garvey.

Pat has been a professional drummer since the age of 17 and is also a multi-instrumentalist who works as a composer and producer. He’s just released a new publication called ‘Lawless – The Book’, so we thought we’d ask him a few questions about it… and get to know a little more about him in the process.

How did the book come about?

I wrote, produced and performed everything on my first album, which was called ‘Lawless’, and it came out to critical acclaim in 2010. The book came about as a result of fans of that album, and also students of mine, asking me what I was playing here and there on various tracks. After a few months of this, I thought it’d be cool to do the album as a book ¬– full charts for the tracks, along with developmental exercises on a track-by-track basis for some of the more tricky elements, and put it out with a play-along CD of the tracks with and without drums. There wasn’t really anything like it out there, stylistically speaking.

What will the book offer its readers?

It’s multifunctional. For drummers into a more ‘progressive rock/metal’ style of drumming, the book offers a chance to get immersed in something comprehensive within that style, but without really going off the scale. For those looking for something new musically, it offers something that isn’t typical; a comprehensive play-along book in a style away from the norm.

It offers the opportunity to see what these type of parts look like written down and it’ll help to get you working on the basics in order to get strong fundamentals in place. It also offers the chance for drummers who might not necessarily want to go and buy something that doesn’t float their boat, musically speaking, to learn about charts, chart information and reading charts – priceless skills for maintaining a career. Alternatively, it could be used to learn seven really cool and musically diverse tracks by ear, coming up with your own parts, so it really is multi-functional in terms of how you can use it.

Where can people get a copy?

From my website at: www.patgarvey.net

Can you briefly discuss your musical background and experience?

I come from a classical background, and started learning the cello at the age of four. I played that until I was 13, studying with some of the world’s finest players and teachers, as well as playing with various youth orchestras. I found the drums through my uncle’s band really – he had a famous band in the ‘70s called The Motors and it was the only rock music I was allowed to listen to as a kid!

I was obsessed with the drums from about the age of ten and that obsession led me to my first band, first gig, first drum teacher, first TV show, first radio show, first session, first interview, first drum-related deal, first magazine column, writing my first song, first publishing deal, first record deal, first festival, first tour, first tour bus, and much later on, my first student. The accumulative effect of which led to my career and where I am now in 2016.

What’s your most memorable moment in music?

This is an impossible question to answer! There are so many great memories. Right now the one that sticks out, that also makes for a good story, is finding myself having dinner with Queen’s Roger Taylor – one of my absolute rock drumming heroes – at his house when I was teaching his son Rufus Taylor (who now plays with The Darkness). I don’t know how I held it together… I really don’t… but I did because I’m a pro and thought it would be really uncool to lose it at the dinner table or at his house. I think I ‘fan-boy screamed’ all the way home!

When did you get your first drum kit and what was it?

I got my first drum kit and drum sticks when I was 11 – it was a Premier kit in White Marine Pearl, with a set of Zyn cymbals. Before that, I made my own ‘kit’ out of a cardboard box, a fire grate and a chair, and used chopsticks and wooden spoons instead of sticks!

What do you love about teaching?

I love mentoring, inspiring, helping, supporting and developing musicians, young and old. I love calling upon all my professional experience and my studies in teaching and learning since I was first invited to teach at BIMM in 2009, in order to do that. I also love how much I learn about people, my art and myself, through teaching. Teaching is the hardest ‘gig’ I’ve ever had, but it’s also the single most rewarding one.

What advice would you give to aspiring drummers?

To enjoy the instrument and remember that no one gets good just like that – so enjoy the journey. Get your mates together and play your favourite songs, write songs, get out and gig. Once you’re ready, start to learn about the music business. Find a good teacher and learn about the art of music and the art of drumming. Watch and learn from the greats, and always remember that it’s a big and exciting world out there.

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